Rivaldo is one of the greatest players from the Samba soil who has graced football with his magical football. The versatile forward, who turns 50, was one of the stars of a period packed full of them. Playing alongside Ronaldo and Ronaldinho in one of the most exciting front lines of all time, he helped Brazil win the 2002 World Cup.
He is regarded as one of the greatest attacking midfielders to have ever played the game of football. During his two-decade-long career as a footballer, he won several tournaments for both his clubs and his country.
Rivaldo grew up in Brazil and played youth football for a few years in his country before making a move to Europe with the Spanish club Deportivo la Coruna. His silken skills, nose for goal and the ability to score spectacular goals seemingly out of nowhere made him an instant success as he moved to Barcelona to enjoy one of the best phases of his life as a footballer.
He helped Barcelona win many championships and was their primary playmaking goal scorer as the team came to be known for their attacking game. Rivaldo was also an inspiration for the Brazilian national team as he helped them in reaching the final of the 1998 World Cup, but his greatest triumph came four years later when he became one of the architects of the national team’s record-breaking 5th World Cup win.
Rivaldo played for AC Milan as well and was a part of their Champions League-winning team.
In 1997, Rivaldo transferred from Deportivo La Coruna to Sir Bobby Robson’s Barcelona for a fee of 26 million dollars.
In his first season at the Catalan club, he won both LaLiga and the Copa del Rey. In 1999 he won the league for a second time, was named FIFA World Player of the Year, and received the Ballon d’Or. In his four years at the club, he appeared in a total of 235 matches. Across these matches, he netted 130 goals and made 32 assists.
After a relatively short stint at Paulistano Futebol Clube, Rivaldo moved to Santa Cruz in 1991, and over the next two years, he changed clubs frequently. He played for Mogi Mirim in the Brazilian second division, and a year later, he moved to Corinthians. At Corinthians, he scored 11 goals in 30 games. Two years after joining Santa Cruz, he made his debut for the national time in a friendly match.
He joined Deportivo la Coruna in 1996 and immediately made an impact as he scored 21 goals for the club in his first and only season.
From 1993 to 2003, Rivaldo played 74 matches, scored 35 goals for Brazil, and is the seventh-highest goalscorer.
He helped Brazil reach the final of the 1998 FIFA World Cup and won the 1999 Copa America, where he was named player of the tournament. Rivaldo starred in an attacking trio with Ronaldo and Ronaldinho in the 2002 FIFA World Cup-winning team.